The United States Marshals Service is now providing additional security personnel to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after a run-in with violent protesters last week.
Drew J. Wade, a spokesman for the Marshals Service, said in an email to POLITICO that the law enforcement agency “is not aware of providing a protective detail for the U.S. secretary of Education in the past.”
“The Attorney General authorized the U.S. Marshals to provide the protective detail for Secretary DeVos,” Wade said. The Marshals Service, which is part of the Justice Department, declined to provide additional details about the new security measures or who requested them.
Typically, the U.S. Marshals Services is responsible for providing security for federal judges, protecting witnesses, apprehending fugitives and transporting dangerous prisoners, so the move to provide a security detail for DeVos is unusual.
According to Politico, the previous four education secretaries were provided security by the department’s small, in-house team, which was comprised of about a half-dozen agents. But apparently DeVos needed a bigger and more secure detail.
The Marshals first began providing DeVos with her security detail on Monday, Feb. 13.
DeVos was the subject of a highly controversial and contentious Senate confirmation process. In fact, the Senate was evenly divided on her confirmation and needed Vice President Mike Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote. Though she was confirmed, she came out bruised.
Just days later, left-wing protesters physically blocked DeVos from entering a Washington D.C.-area school. When she tried to leave and go through a different entrance to the school, a protester blocked her car from leaving. That protester had to be removed by police and was charged with assault after he shoved an officer.